Using ready-made gnocchi means you can whip up this dish midweek. It serves 2, but you can stretch it to 4 with vegetables on the side such as broccoli tossed in garlic oil topped with a shower of grated parmesan, and a salad.
100g (3½ ounces) cavolo nero
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large red pepper (bell pepper/capsicum), halved, cored, deseeded and finely chopped
100g (3½ ounces) free-range bacon (make sure it is NZ bacon if you live in NZ!), rind removed and chopped
250g (about 8 ounces) ready-made potato gnocchi
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Handful of basil leaves
1 Prepare the cavolo nero by washing it well, then running a sharp knife down either side of the tough centre ribs (discard the ribs). Chop leafy part, then plunge it into a small saucepan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain.
2 Dry pan with a cloth. Add olive oil and red pepper. Cover pan with a lid and cook gently for 10-12 minutes, checking it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
3 Fry bacon in a small oiled frying pan (skillet) over medium heat until golden; stir often. Transfer to a plate. Scoop out bacon fat and discard, leaving sediment in pan.
4 Drop gnocchi into a pan of gently boiling salted water one at a time. Once they float to the top, cook for a further 2 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Heat bacon pan and when it is hot, add gnocchi and garlic, then red pepper, scraping in all the oily juices. Cook until everything is piping hot, then stir in cavolo nero and basil. Transfer to a heated bowl or bowls and scatter with bacon. Serve immediately.
Sabato (NZ) have a gluten-free gnocchi made with potato, rice and corn. It’s not smooth like potato gnocchi, but it has good flavour and is a good substitute if you can’t tolerate gluten. You can order online. https://sabato.co.nz/pasta-rice-grains